‘New Gods: Nezha Reborn’ is an animated steampunk action-adventure film that attempts to revitalize age-old Chinese folk beliefs. Directed by Ji Zhao, ‘New Gods: Nezha Reborn’ tells the tale of a renegade hero, Li, who comes to know of the hidden strength bestowed upon him by the eponymous protection deity. Now, he must channelize his strength to end an age-old battle with the Dragon King and reinstate peace and prosperity in the barren, waterless city. The finality of the film sees the hero’s triumph as he seemingly defeats the villains in a fierce battle, but there remains scope for Nezha to return in a future installment of the franchise. If you are looking to find whether ‘New Gods: Nezha Reborn’ will get a sequel, you may consider us to be your ally.
New Gods: Nezha Reborn Sequel Release Date
‘New Gods: Nezha Reborn’ premiered on February 12, 2021, in mainland China, after having a limited release on selected IMAX screens on February 6, 2021. In the US, the film was released virtually on April 12, 2021, on the streaming platform Netflix.
Upon release, the film was received with much enthusiasm by fans and critics, owing to the popularity of the story in Chinese folk culture. As a post-pandemic release, the film also seemed to reign over the Chinese box office for some time following its release. Loosely based on the popular Chinese folk-epic ‘Investiture of the Gods,’ the story extends the mythos of the original narrative as it begins 3,000 years after the fabled containment of Nezha. The critics noted that while there have been other endeavors that seek to revive the traditional story, including ‘Ne Zha (2019)’ and ‘I Am NeZha (2016),’ no other film has been imaginative enough to set the mythical narrative in a futuristic cyberpunk setting.
The production company has hinted at the possibility of a sequel. According to a source, the sequel is reportedly planned for 2022. But keeping in mind the delay in the production of the original film (which was initially slated for a summer 2020 release but got postponed owing to the pandemic and the mayhem), we may expect the sequel to come out sometime in 2023 or later.
New Gods: Nezha Reborn Cast: Who can be in It?
The original film employs talented voice actors to bind the animation in flesh-and-blood. Tianxiang Yang voices the role of Li Yunxiang, alongside Jonny Siew, who gives life to the character of Ao Bing, the Third Prince of the Dragon Clan. In other roles, He Zhang voices the character of the Six-Eared Macaque, and Xiaoming Xuan articulately infuses emotion into the character of Long Wang. If the sequel is made, we can hope for the voice cast to be back on board, but we are yet to see whether the production company opts for changes.
New Gods: Nezha Reborn Plot: What Can it Be About?
The original film tells the story of Li Yunxiang, who comes to know that he is an incarnation of the Chinese deity Nezha. Set in the backdrop of the fictional city of Donghai (a dystopian Shanghai?), the stylistic adventure tale takes us to a barren realm without water. The story begins 3000 years after the mythicized death of Nezha, where the world is still governed by all-powerful clans De, Li, Song, and Shun, who rule the mortal world with an iron fist (like, literally). The finality of the film sees the defeat of the notorious Dragon King of the East Seas at the hands of our hero, but the story can still explore numerous paths in the sequel.
While Li has made his amends with the boundless power in him, he is still to gain complete control over his power. At the end of the first film, we have seen Li attaining the powerful red ribbon of Nezha. He is still to awaken other abilities and moves like the Cosmic Ring, Fire Wheel, and Dragon Catcher, as is told by the Six-Eared Macaque at the end of the film. The next installment may find Li engaged in a rivalry with other mythical clans as he unlocks other abilities of Nezha. The film may also venture into Nezha’s past, chronicling the lives of other incarnations in history. However, we expect that the sequel will retain the cyberpunk theme of the original.
Read More: New Gods: Nezha Reborn Ending, Explained